Today while out running errands, I decided to stop in to a local bookstore to use a gift certificate I had received for Christmas for a free cappuccino or latte'. I perused the menu and attempted to place my order. I say attempted because I don't actually know how to order the things I want to get. I'm relatively new to the "fancy" coffee world. My mother drank coffee. She would drink instant Folgers or Maxwell house coffee straight up no cream and no sugar. I tried that once. I do not like coffee. I could never see the draw. Until, once when I was visiting with a neighbor friend of mine and she asked me if I wanted some coffee I politely declined and explained that I didn't care for coffee. To which she replied that I would like it the way she made it.
As it turns out I do like coffee as long as I can't taste the coffee in the coffee drink. Or rather I like all the really fattening things that go into the coffee drinks to make them consumable. What this little lesson did not include however was a users guide on how to order these delightful drinks when out and about. I have a friend who works at the local Starbucks. I like it when she is working and I go in there because I really don't need to know how to order. I just tell her to surprise me. Of course, I like to think that she thinks I'm just adventurous. I am sure I'm not really fooling her at all. I believe she knows me well enough to know that I really just have no idea what I'm doing at the coffee counter.
It makes me think of the movie Kicking and Screaming with Will Ferrell. This movie is a family favorite in our house. While the reviewers didn't give it high marks when it came out, our family gives it several thumbs ups. We quote it on a regular basis. In the movie, Will Ferrell is coaching his son's soccer team. He is going up against his dad who is a coach on a different team. His dad's next door neighbor is Mike Ditka whom he enlists to help him coach his team. Mike Ditka tells him to calm down and have some coffee. Will's character says "I don't like coffee it's a vasoconstrictor." Mike tells him "Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions." Of course then Will's character goes to a coffee shop to order his first cup of coffee and informs the guy at the counter that he is new to coffee and wonders if you can get half of the regular kind of coffee and half the decaf kind of coffee or is that too weird?
That would be me at the coffee counter. Hello I'm new to coffee especially coffee that doesn't taste like coffee. Can I get something with all the flavor but half the fat? I'd really like one to boost my energy for a limited amount of time, taste great, be less filling, and not add an immeasurable amount of fat to my midsection if possible please. This is a bit like going and ordering a quarter pounder with cheese and a diet coke of course but it's what I do. I don't know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte' and I until recently didn't know that chai was a tea and not a coffee drink. I really don't think these are things I need to know. All I need to know is, does it taste good and will it be 100 calories or less. This may make for an exhausted coffee barista ( a term I learned from a coffee commercial. Impressive eh?) but I do eventually get what I want.
So for all those coffee connoisseurs out there, give me a break I'm new here and a nicely typed cheat sheet for ordering skinny coffee drinks that don't taste like coffee would be handy. It would just make life easier on everyone. Don't you think? Until then I will continue to go in and say "I'll have a tall, skinny, something that tastes nothing like coffee but has coffee in it. You decide and surprise me. Thanks."